The Monastic Family
More than three hundred women consecrated to God have lived and died in the Monastery of Our Lady of Good Hope from 1651 to the present day.
The list on this page, an alphabetical index by surname with biographical details, is being built up gradually. Abbess Francis Wilcox and Community
Dame Felicitas Beechman entered religious life at Holme Eden Abbey, Carlisle. She died at Colwich in 2002.
Mother Elizabeth Brent was a choir nun who came from the English Benedictine nuns at Cambrai, and died in Paris in 1660.
Mother Mary Benedict Brown was the last Prioress of the Augustinian Canonesses of Paris and Ealing. She became a Benedictine and died at Colwich in 2001.
Dame Mildred Gorman was professed at St. Scholastica's Priory, Atherstone in Warwickshire. She died at Colwich in 1999.
Sister Gertrude Hodson was a lay sister who came from the English Benedictine nuns at Cambrai, and died in Paris in 1652, aged 21.
Very Reverend Mother Mary Clare Knight joined the community at Cannington in 1807, and was Prioress for 42 years, from 1818 until her death in 1860 at Colwich.
Sister Rachel Lanning became a nun in our house in Paris, and died there in 1663 at the age of 22.
Dame Anselma Örs was born in Hungary, professed at Holme Eden Abbey, buried at Colwich in 2011.
Abbess Edith Street was Abbess from 1982 to 1994, and died in 2004.
Dame Cecilia Thorp entered religious life at St. Scholastica's Priory, Atherstone in Warwickshire. She died at Colwich in 2001, aged 92.
List of Superiors
From 1652 the Superior was a Prioress elected by the nuns. In 1928 the community was raised to the rank of an Abbey, and from that time the nuns have elected an Abbess as superior.
For the complete list, click here: Superiors
World War 2
What did the enclosed nuns experience of World War 2?
One of them kept a Journal. Here begins an account of St. Mary's Abbey Colwich during the Second World War.
Who was Father Augustine Baker?
Father Augustine Baker (1575 - 1641) was an English Benedictine monk, the teacher of the nuns of Cambrai who founded the Monastery of Our Lady of Good Hope in Paris. Two of the nuns who began the Paris house had known him personally. The Cambrai nuns made copies of Father Baker's manuscripts for the new foundation, and many of these are still in the community's possession.
In sable lines o're a silver ground
The face of that mysterious Man is found,
Whose secret life and published Writings prove,
To Pray is not to talke, or thinke, but Love.